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This trip will visit one of the most dramatic coastlines in the world, Maine's Bold Coast. It will take place over a long weekend from Friday August 28 to Monday August 31 (see the calendar entry). Bob Levine and Joe Berkovitz are the trip organizers.

Ranging from Machias Bay to Lubec and beyond to Canada's Campobello Island, the Bold Coast is a largely undeveloped and wild region with lots of dramatic cliffs and rocks, 25+ foot tidal ranges, strong currents and amazing wildlife (we paddled next to whales last year). Take a look at 2018's Bold Coast trip report for a sense of what it can be like.

Paddlers joining this trip will encounter:

- Daily trips of 12-15 miles, with limited bailout options. Much of the Bold Coast is roadless wilderness with high oceanfront cliffs
- Strong currents (> 4 kt) and turbulent eddy lines
- Cold water, often in the low 50s even in high summer, with air temps in the 60s. A drysuit is essential some days
- Rough water conditions from wave reflection off rocks, weather, and current/wind interaction
- A need for strong situational awareness and the ability to stay in a tight, cohesive pod
- An international border crossing, requiring strong passport-wielding skills
 
The general plan for this trip is to section-paddle various portions of the Bold Coast, Campobello Island and Cobscook Bay, adjusting the plan for conditions, interest and level of challenge. Each day we will choose from various out-and-back or shuttle adventures and have a lot of freedom with the length and nature of the paddles. (Note: we will not be attempting to run the whole Bold Coast in a single tide cycle.)
 
Despite the challenging waters, we want to be safe! Each day we'll evaluate our options carefully. There are a wide range of locations to choose from, and directions in which to go. And if conditions are just too bad to paddle, there is really great hiking in the area.
 
Home base for this adventure is the Sunset Point RV Park in Lubec, which is a very clean and well-run campsite. It's not all RV's -- actually, the area reserved for tents is a lovely grassy headland that juts out into Johnson Bay, with its own little pavilion. Showers are free with unlimited hot water and if you care, there is free Internet at the office. And the campground has its own boat ramp for launching directly into an arm of Cobscook Bay.
 
In terms of logistics, plan for 6-7 hours of road travel to reach the Bold Coast from the Boston area. The campsite is reserved starting Thursday 8/27, so that everyone can come up on Thursday and we can hang out together and do some planning before getting a good night's rest. Checkout is Monday 8/31. Individual arrangements can be made to extend your stay earlier or later, as the tenting area of the campground is usually only sparsely occupied.  Please work that out with us up front.
 
Each person's share of the campsite rental will run to a total $52.50 for the 4 nights. 

Want to go? In the past, we have used the first-come-first-served RSVP system. Since the trip is usually oversubscribed, we have found that this favors those who are quick to notice the post and press the button, and while we love paddling with those folks, we would like to make things a little fairer and less of a "race". In particular we want to accommodate people that we had to turn away in previous years.

This year, we are trying a different system. If you are interested, please PM Joe Berkovitz as soon as possible with a request to join the trip. Please tell a bit about yourself if Bob or Joe haven't paddled with you before. We will confirm receipt of your request right away.

After that, we'll put together the final group of people who are going on the trip, as we soon as we can, and get back to everyone. (We may extend the deadline if necessary.) Our goal is a group size of 8 paddlers. We’ll keep everyone informed as the process moves ahead.

This forum topic can be used for general Q&A about the trip, or you can PM either Bob or Joe for a private conversation.

 
 

Edited by Joseph Berkovitz

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Hi Joe,

 

i would like to join. I am not sure if we paddled together before. I moved in the area last year and did a number of trips last year including Gay Island with Kyle and Woods Hole with Josko

I both sea and river kayak and I have taken the Maine guide course for sea kayaking.

best regards

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Joe

I am interested for sure but I dont know if the dates will work for me.  MITA just secured permission from the State to list two locations along the Bold Coast as campsites and day use.  I believe that they will allow for on the order of 6 people.  One of the locations is a sweet spot in Sand Cove that should be conducive to landing on a Sand Beach in all but the roughest conditions. The other location requires a landing on a steep cobble beach at the south end of the State of Maine Cutler Coastal Preserve Land.  The information on these campsites will be in the 2020 MITA Guidebook which should be ready sometime in June.  

 

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A quick update on this trip: it is now full and has a pretty solid waitlist. If you would like to get on the waitlist, please PM me and I will be happy to add you. There are often cancellations on any trip of this size.

 

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Hi Joe, unless Maine changes their quarantine date effective through end of August, we won’t be able to conduct this club trip.  Are you considering changing the date to Sept in the hope that the quarantine will not be extended .

Best, Sue

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At the moment we feel it’s best to give the current plan a little more time to see if Maine changes their quarantine policy. Some people on the trip have already requested time off for the existing dates so there is a downside to simply moving the whole thing to September. We don’t really know that things in Maine will be OK then either.

J

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At this point, I am guessing it is safe to assume that Maine's policy is not going to change between here and the end of the year. How many of the folks signed up would be willing to get a COVID test in accordance with the present policy?  See the Maine CDC website for details about the travel policy.  

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I’ve been thinking about that. Of course I’d be willing to get a test in 1) a safe setting that was 2) covered by insurance. It’s the latter point that is a big problem for me. Most test sites either charge a lot of money up front (more than $100) or require a doctors screening, which in my case also costs a lot of money up front (thanks, American health care system!). So I’m still in a watch and wait mode until something gets better in the situation. 
 

if others have ideas on this I would love to hear them because I really do want to go. 

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Hi Joe. I can and would get screened. I have access at work, but I believe there are options more in the $50 range. Happy to send a message to the smaller group.

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